Tornado Hits Valley, See Exclusive Video Of Twister
TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KMPH) —
Local dairy farmers couldn't believe their eyes when a tornado touched down in Tulare County.
The tornado hit around 1 p.m. Friday just east of Freeway 99 and Avenue 184.
Ron Locke, owner of Top O The Morn Farms in Tulare, witnessed the weather phenomenon.
Ron Locke says, "We looked off to the west and it looked like just a big sand devil, and then it started growing and it looked like a big dark cloud and started to v-down and touched the ground. It was off about a mile or two, and it just started getting larger and larger."
He wasn't the only one.
Ed Reedy says, "I went to get some parts from town, and I could see it in the distance, and by the time I got to it, it was long gone."
As the tornado got closer Ron was most concerned about his employees and his livestock.
Thankfully the strong winds dissipated by the time the tornado hit his land.
Ron says, "We watched it for a good 3 to 5 minutes, and it looked like it was getting stronger and then when it hit one of the dairies near us and hit one of the barns, then it seemed to dissipate, but the winds did come; it was pretty strong."
The National Weather Service in Hanford and Chief Meteorologist Kevan Ramer are calling it a very weak tornado.
Ron Locke says the site was similar to a couple of years ago, when a tornado caused damage to several buildings on his property.
He's just thankful he dodged a bullet this time.
Ron says, "You see all the news coverage of them back East. But here it's something we don't deal with, and we aren't prepared. Thank goodness it didn't come our way."
Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service plans to send out a team of meteorologists to survey any possible damage in the area.